Midlands-based hard rock act Voodoo Johnson is on the verge of big things, with a new management deal recently signed. We caught up with guitarist Paul Gethin following their impressive performance at Hard Rock Hell.

R13: Can I just say before we start, ‘Dirty Angel’ is a really cool track!
PG: (laughs) thanks! We’ve just re-recorded that track actually, the original was a bit weak in the bass.

R13: Cool, ok, let’s start pretty broadly: can you give me a bit of background about what Voodoo Johnson is all about; how long you’ve been together, where the name comes from, where your influences lie, that kinda thing.
PG: 3 years ago we got together as a band, we gelled together well. We all get on great and then we got really good support slots really quickly.
The name Voodoo Johnson came about because our main guitarist won a competition in London for us to see Brian May and Jimmy Page; we had a chat with them about music and general stuff and Page told us how he got into rock. He’s a big fan of Robert Johnson the Blues guitarist, y’kno Crossroads and stuff, and voodoo came into it. As we were talking to someone we absolutely idolise, it sort of stuck with us. Voodoo Johnson was born from that.

R13: Do your influences as a band lie in classic rock?
PG: We’ve all got different tastes in music; I love Metallica, Sepultura, we also like drum n’ bass! Dave our drummer loves Orbital. It kinda works!

R13: What I like about you guys is that although you’ve got a classic rock vibe with the meaty guitars and big vocals, you don’t sound like any other band out there, was that a conscious decision or just the way things have developed?
PG: Possibly, it wasn’t a conscious decision. When we started we got branded as classic rock but it’s not that. It is what it is but it was a semi-conscious decision to move away from the branding of classic rock. The album we’ve just done is a lot darker, you can tell it’s us straightaway but it’s a lot darker.

R13: Can you give me a brief update of what’s happening with the band at present?
PG: We’ve just found a management and agent deal in the last week so there’s a lot of planning going on right now. There are all sorts of exciting things planned for next year; we’ll be stepping things up a gear. It really is an amazing time for us.

R13: Voodoo Johnson has toured with some pretty impressive names, the one that particularly stood out for me was Duff McKagan, how did it feel, playing alongside such big names?
PG: It was great, it was really great (laughs). It was so cool but weird - it’s never hit home.

R13: If you could tour with anybody, who would you choose?
PG:If I could tour with anybody, it’d have to be one of the greats... The Rolling Stones, for the sheer craic (pause) not crack (laughs)! I think it’d be awesome fun.

R13: In your personal opinion, what has been the band’s biggest achievement so far?
PG: Right now I think it’s the album, we’re so happy with it. Also the tour; it’s a pretty amazing time for us.

R13: Voodoo Johnson already has an impressive history, but how do you see things developing over the next few years?
PG: We’ve just finished recording our new album, which we’ll be releasing shortly. We think it’s going to be called ‘Ten Thousands Horses’. Everything has been put into it, hearts on sleeves. We really hope people buy into it.

R13: Do you have a tour planned to coincide?
PG:There are things in the pipeline, mid February is looking pretty good.

R13: Talking of performances, you recently rocked Hard Rock Hell: what were your best bits both on and off stage?
PG: On stage was great, it was packed to the rafters, it was brilliant. It was half full when we arrived which is fine, but when we came on it was rammed; the crowd was absolutely amazing. Off-stage, we met some great people; Carl and Ritch were allowed to watch Queensryche’s sound check which was pretty cool.

R13: Finally, can you tell me something random about the band that not many people know?
PG: Oh! Um that is a question... (laughs) Ben makes the best cheesecake on the planet, it’s unbelievable, it’s awesome! Is that random enough?

R13: I think that’s pretty random, that’s fab! I enjoyed that, thanks very much for your time.
PG: Thank you - bye!